Chapter 5

The Literary Life of a Ghost-hunter





Underwood holding a copy of his Dictionary of the Supernatural, published in 1978.

“Perhaps the most famous of all haunted houses in London is Number 50,

Berkeley Square.”

“When I called there in June, 1970, I learned that the occupants are still pestered by curiosity seekers.”

“Probably the story that did more than any other to enhance the reputation of the house concerned two sailors who found themselves penniless in London in the 1870’s.”

“They broke in to obtain a roof over their heads for the night.”

“But they were disturbed during the night first by banging noises, like door-slamming and then by footsteps that seemed to slither and slide up the stairs and approach their door.”

“After a moment the door handle turned and ‘something shapeless and horrible’ oozed into the room.”

“One sailor escaped to get the help of a policeman passing by.”

“However upon returning to the scene,

they discover the body of the other sailor - with his neck broken.”

“The policeman found no trace of the horrible creature that had so terrified the two tough sailors.”

Underwood’s original account of Berkley Square can be found in his Haunted London (1972)  but his full exploration of the case is worth reading in his subsequent in Hauntings (1977).